Living as an Iranian constantly under the scrutiny of the morality police is akin to a surreal comedy, a delicate juggling act between vigilance and unrestrained laughter. On a memorable evening, I cautiously navigated my way to an underground gathering, a hidden soirĂ©e where friends and strangers united to break free from society’s stifling constraints.

The dark room felt reminiscent of your grandfather’s attic, filled with hushed laughter and music so rebellious like putting “Don’t Stop Believin'” on a continuous loop. It was a brief escape from reality, and my excitement matched that of a kangaroo on methamphetamine. I was acutely aware that at any moment, the morality police could burst in, as if auditioning for a high-intensity action movie.

I danced with a diverse group, straight out of a B-movie, their eyes reflecting the dreams of hopeful idealists. We clung to the belief that our actions could ignite change, enduring the monotony of our current lives for the promise of a brighter future, complete with free Netflix subscriptions and endless ice cream.

In my mind, I pictured the ultimate plot twist: the door swings open, and the morality police storm in, shouting as if competing for roles in an over-the-top soap opera. In an instant, excitement would turn to dread, and our dreams would vanish like a magician’s rabbit. And later as I sit in a cold, sterile cell, I would contemplate the absurdity of it all.

I understand that the rollercoaster of anticipation and emptiness in my life resembles the convoluted plot of a sitcom. But one thing remains certain: this tragic hope would keep me going, and in the hearts of every Iranian, the dream for a brighter future would persist as an enduring punchline, refusing to be silenced no matter how many times life attempts to cancel our show.

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